Book Review: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.”

Published in 2015, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng follows the Lee family – mother Marilyn, father James, and their three children. Lydia is the favourite child; a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfil the dreams they were unable to pursue. Marilyn wants her to become a doctor rather than a homemaker, and James hopes that she will become popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the centre of every party. But Lydia is under pressures that have nothing to do with growing up in 1970s small-town Ohio. So when her body is found in the local lake, her parents are left devastated, but too consumed by their own guilt to really see what’s going on.

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My 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

Over the past couple of years, I have documented every film that I have watched and reviewed them all using Letterboxd. As a way to motivate myself to read more, I thought I would do the same for what books I have been reading, using Goodreads as a way to set myself a reading challenge every year.

I initially set my target as 25 books this year, but a few things happened that meant I reached this goal quite early on. Firstly, I had a baby, so this meant that I was awake at silly hours with plenty of time to read. Then, there was lockdown. Because of lockdown, I decided to join Bookstagram and NetGalley and get more serious about reviewing books. So now, instead of reading two books at most a month, I’ve been reading up to ten.

I upped my goal to 60 around halfway through the year, and still managed to pass that by reaching 74 books. This year has really rekindled my love of books, and I can’t wait to start 2021 with this new passion.

Here’s how my 2020 challenge went:

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TV Review: Little Fires Everywhere (Amazon Prime) – Miniseries

Adapted from the 2017 novel of the same name by Celeste Ng and created by Liz Tigelaar, Little Fires Everywhere is set in 1990s Shaker Heights where everything is planned and everybody plays by the rules. Elena Richardson (Reese Witherspoon) embodies this spirit more than most, but when Mia (Kerry Washington), an enigmatic artist and single mother who’s always on the move, arrives with her daughter, Pearl (Lexi Underwood), their idyllic bubble bursts. As Mia rents a house from the Richardsons and begins working in their home, all four Richardson children – Lexie (Jade Pettyjohn), Izzy (Megan Stott), Moody (Gavin Lewis) and Trip (Jordan Elsass) – are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community, as Elena becomes determined to uncover her secrets.

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Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

“Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground and start over. After the burning, the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.”

Originally published in 2017 and written by Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere is set in 1990s Shaker Heights where everything is planned and everybody plays by the rules. Elena Richardson embodies this spirit more than most, but when Mia, an enigmatic artist and single mother who’s always on the move, arrives with her daughter, Pearl, their idyllic bubble bursts. As Mia rents a house from the Richardsons and begins working in their home, all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community, as Elena becomes determined to uncover her secrets.

Continue reading “Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng”

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